As always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  If you are in a profession that demands repetitive wrist movement (such as being a carpenter or pianist or typist) there are a number of ways to reduce your wrist of creating inflammation between the delicate structures that form the wrist.  One reason the wrist is so flexible (the most versatile joint in the body) is because it is comprised of a series of 14 carpal bones that fit together like a loose jigsaw puzzle, snuggly bound by a series of sheaths and tendons. 

If I had been asked this question 20 years ago, I would have gently explained that kids are clean — they haven’t had time to accumulate toxins or sully their health with the usual culprits associated with smoking, drinking and partying.  However, sadly, we have all heard the news stories about noxious chemicals — many never properly tested by the FDA — found in breast milk.  States all over the country are mounting legislative actions to ban BPA and phthalates and flame retardant chemicals

Auto-immune (AI) diseases are characterized by an inappropriate destruction of “self” tissue by the immune system.  In Lupus, for example, your own immune system would attack the nucleus of a variety of cells, and “anti-nuclear antibodies” (ANA) are found in the blood when tested.  This is a common screen for auto-immune disease, although having a positive ANA doesn’t always mean you have an auto-immune disease. 

Nature is very efficient.  Good designs, no waste.  The purpose of the gallbladder is to store a small repository of bile, which serves many important functions.  Bile requires a good deal of energy and biological resources to produce in the body.  It is vigorously recycled.  It is what makes the color of a healthy stool dark brown.  The main purpose of bile is to break down fat into absorbable components, namely essential fatty acids. 

Q: I take one regular aspirin a day and a small dose of a beta blocker to regulate the electrical impulses in my heart.  I’ve been told that these medicines are compromising my intestinal and liver function.  I’d like to discontinue the pharmaceuticals completely.  Is that possible to do safely? Jenny M-Y, Bellingham WA A: Hi Jenny, I’m pleased you are interested in natural approaches to health care.  You bring up several important issues.  First, while you can most likely safely discontinue aspirin immediately, you need to wean off the beta-blocker more slowly. Beta-blockers are the “first generation” of drugs used mostly to control high blood pressure, because they block the “beta-adrenergic”, or adrenaline, receptors in the heart tissue.  Adrenaline is an extremely potent vasoconstrictor, so blocking adrenaline means the tissue stays more relaxed (not constricting).  In your case, the beta-blocker is being used to regulate the electrical impulses, which is a different story.  The heart is an amazing organ with both electrical and plumbing functions.  The plumbing is of course the pumping of the oxygenated blood around the body.  Each...

Homo sapiens evolved in Africa as a hairless ape. That creature spent LOTS of time outside, with a prodigious amount of skin exposure in a nice sunny environment. Today homo sapiens is largely an indoor mammal, and typically covers up a good deal of skin when venturing outside. Often when in a relaxed stance, say on a beach vacation, gobs of sunscreen is applied. This all adds up to much less Vitamin D synthesis happening in the skin cells. Hairless ape was designed to receive a lot of Vitamin D. The sun emits both UV-A (responsible for most melanomas) and UV-B which does not penetrate clouds or through glass and is only “full strength” at mid-day. UV-B is the ray needed to synthesize Vit D, whereas UV-A is the “tanning” frequency in tanning salons and does not stimulate much Vit D production. People who are extremely deficient in Vitamin D (less than 12 ng/mL) will respond rapidly to real sun exposure, and serum levels rise quickly. People who are marginally deficient (between 30 and 50 ng/mL) achieve optimal levels (50-80...

Recently, while visiting with some of my naturopathic medical school classmates, my friend told us an interesting story. She had a patient who suffered with asthma for 35 years. The asthma had come on suddenly and was worsening despite all treatments, both medical and naturopathic. She asked herself what had changed 35 years ago. In her frustration she searched her memory for what behaviors she might have begun 35 years ago. The answer was her brand of toothpaste, and she had continued to use that same brand for 35 years. She changed her toothpaste and her asthma quickly disappeared.

For years, physicians and scientists have been aware that statins, the most widely prescribed drugs in the world, can cause muscle aches and fatigue in some patients. What many people don’t know is that these side effects are especially pronounced in people who exercise. To learn more about the effect statins have on exercising muscles, scientists in Strasbourg, France, recently gave the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor to a group of rats for two weeks, while a separate control group was not medicated. Some of the rats from both groups ran on little treadmills until they were exhausted. It was immediately obvious that the medicated animals couldn’t run as far. They became exhausted much earlier than the rats that had not been given statins. The differences were even more striking at a cellular level. When the scientists studied muscle tissues, they found that oxidative stress, a measure of possible cell damage, was increased by 60 percent in sedentary animals receiving statins, compared with the unmedicated control group. The effect was magnified in the runners, whose cells showed 226 percent more oxidative stress...

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you are not alone. Twenty percent of the US population (about 50 million people) make over 10 million visits to doctors every year for this common concern. Multiple factors conspire to create the dreaded days of runny noses, itchy and watery eyes, relentless sneezing, scratchy throats and just generally not feeling up to snuff.

The top five foods for healthy skin Americans are shelling out big bucks for expensive cosmetics to treat skin problems such as acne, wrinkles and dryness, but most consumers are overlooking the cheapest, safest and most effective remedies: healing foods. A host of healthy, natural foods offer potent healing and preventative powers to remedy a wide range of skin troubles. These foods can dramatically improve skin